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Home > News > Report

BJP invites Sonia Gandhi for Gujarat debate

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 06, 2007 14:29 IST

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Gujarat Elections 2007

Bharatiya Janata Party leader M Venkaiah Naidu has asked Sonia Gandhi [Images] to have a one-to-one debate with him over development in Gujarat under Chief Minister Narendra Modi's [Images] leadership.

He made this remark when a newsperson told him that the Congress president had described Modi's claims as exaggerated.

"In Gujarat, promises made by the BJP over the past one decade or more on development have turned out to be hollow, highly exaggerated and, in some cases, false. In our campaign we are reaffirming our firm commitment to the fundamental Constitutional and secular values, highlighting the grave failures of the BJP government. The media had also exposed the active involvement of the BJP leadership in the brutalities which took place in 2002.

It is my impression that the people of Gujarat have seen through these hollow claims and are looking forward to a change," Sonia said in her speech delivered at meeting of the Congress parliamentary party on penaltimate winter session of Parliament.

"If she wants she can have a one-to-one debate on the development in Gujarat," an irritated Naidu told newsmen when this question was put to him.

He wanted to know why she had called Modi a merchant of death first?

"We wanted to have a discussion, but they diverted the issue. Don't we have a right to defend ourselves? As far as I am concerned, they can hang the photo of Mohammed Afzal and Sohrabuddin in their houses and garland them. Who killed over 3,000 Sikhs in Delhi alone in 1984," Naidu asked.

Eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani applauded the stand taken by Gujarat government's lawyer K T S Tulsi after Modi defended the killing of Sohrabuddin's killing in a fake encounter.

"Somebody had to take a moral stand. Modi has become the icon of the BJP and it is they who are following them and not Modi who is following the party," he said.